Drifting Dragons, Vol. 1

He spent his time reading
by Taku Kuwabara | Graphic Novels |
ISBN: 9781632368904 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 1/15/2020
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Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, January 15, 2020
I got this softcover at Barnes and Noble, attracted by the dragon on the cover - though to my surprise, the dragons in the story do not resemble that or any other traditional dragon at all. Then again, that may be for the best: the series is about steampunk whalers-in-the-sky, using a dirigible to hunt and kill the cloud-dwelling "dragons" for their oil and meat. So perhaps it's better that the dragons resemble huge bacteria, or those weirdly-shaped deep-sea creatures, or eldritch abominations with tentacles and too many jaws...

The story itself centers on the crew of the Quin Zaza, one of the last active "drakers" - apparently there are new replacements for dragon-oil and, perhaps, fewer dragons, mirroring the historical drop-off in whaling. There's a nice mix of characters, who all seem to have a tight bond, even though some tend to squabble and others find their own specialties more vital than those of the rest of the crew. We see the lead harpooner Mika zip-lining down a cable to finish off a dragon - and then reveling in the tasty meat it provides. We learn that the villages that buy the goods are reluctant to allow the drakers to stay in town - partly out of fear that other dragons will attack in revenge and partly because they don't trust the sky-faring strangers. [They change their tune when a bigger dragon shows up and the drakers take it out.]

Another interesting facet: recipes! Not only do people value the dragon meat and organs, but the book provides recipes for the dishes they create. [If one substitutes real-world meats and fats, the recipes could actually be made; I'm tempted to try "dragonet a la diavola", though perhaps with chicken instead.]

Other complications include sky pirates - the battle with them leads to an awesome action by Mika - and an odd little side story about a small dragon that lands on the ship out of the blue. At first I assumed that someone would keep it as a pet and grow interested in the feelings of dragons thereby, but no, this isn't that kind of series; they catch it, decide it's too small to try and sell, and promptly butcher and eat it themselves. Cut to a small panel showing robed figures speaking from some other location about the lost and insanely valuable little dragon that was intended as a pet for an emperor... if the crew only knew how much that meal was worth!

While I find myself on the side of the dragons (eerie as they look), I can sympathize with the crew as well, and so far the story's a good one.

[There's a TV Tropes page on the series, with some entertaining tidbits. And there's an anime series on Netflix that I've begun watching.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, Fitch Bridge Rd in Groton, Massachusetts USA on Sunday, September 27, 2020

Released 3 wks ago (9/27/2020 UTC) at Little Free Library, Fitch Bridge Rd in Groton, Massachusetts USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in the Little Free Library; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2020 You're Such an Animal challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2020 TV Series challenge. ***

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